Thousands gathered at the Balboa Park Bridge to run, walk, stride and enjoy life for the 22nd “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” event early Sunday morning.
The event honored survivors and gave support and inspiration to those currently receiving treatment for breast cancer.
“It’s just so charged with energy and I can see how it would give people who are maybe in treatment right now and they are able to be here, it just gives you an energy boost,” survivor Rosa Burger told NBC 7.
After 11 years in remission, Burger said she was still overwhelmed with emotion at the event.
A doctor said the hope and positive energy helps them work every day to help patients fight the disease.
“Patients are not alone. I think a lot of times after you get a diagnosis like breast cancer everything starts caving in and you think you’re alone,” said Dr. Sonia Ali, a breast oncologist at Scripps M.D. Anderson.
Displaying the large survivor community, each pink ribbon on a pink tree bore the name of a survivor and how long they have been in remission. Some have only been remission for months, others for years and even decades.
Burger said it did not matter how recent the diagnosis, the struggle was fresh in Burger’s mind.
“I had no idea what each week brought. It was just taking one day at a time, and one situation at a time and one treatment at a time,” she added.
After a time in her life of uncertainty, she said she enjoys life and leaves it all on the dance floor.